December 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the December 2014 Marshalls Newsletter

 

Well there you have it, the end of a year again and what a year it’s been. It’s been a rollercoaster of weather, from some of the hottest, driest and wettest ever recorded. The nights are long, the days are short and with a cold snap forecast too, there’s not much to look forward to apart from the odd crisp and sunny winter day. 

If the going out in the cold doesn’t seem like much fun why not sit back with our catalogue or peruse the website for inspiration for next season. There are some great new varieties to try as well as the good old traditional favourites, plenty of things to add to your Christmas list. From everyone here at Marshalls have a great Christmas and New Year and good luck with the 2015 growing season.

 

Christmas Shopping

If the going out in the cold doesn’t seem like much fun why not sit back with our catalogue or peruse the website for inspiration for next season. There are some great new varieties to try as well as the good old traditional favourites, plenty of things to add to your Christmas list. From everyone here at Marshalls have a great Christmas and New Year and good luck with the 2015 growing season.

It’s not too late to do a bit of last minute shopping in time for Christmas and the website and Christmas catalogue have some inspirational gifts for your friend and family. How about a pair of hand twisted bay and holly trees to add sophistication to your garden and home. They’re hand crafted over the years to create stylish and elegant feature shrubs, and are ideal for containers or as specimen plants in beds and borders. A real eye-catching centrepiece and a thoughtful gift for the keen gardener in your life.

 

For her there is the Gardening Angel Garden Mug which is designed by the Devon artist Simon Drew. It’s practical, beautiful and fun. For him there’s the Garden Knife plus Budding & Pruning Knife. Or if you can’t think of anything, why not give vouchers to give them an opportunity to choose their own present.

 

Clean up Patios

If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to clean up your patios, paving, fences and greenhouse. The Cold damp weather can cause a build up of unattractive and dangerous algae, which can cause slippery surfaces. EcoSure Green-Off is the safe and environmentally friendly way of removing algae from all garden surfaces. This biological control contains natural enzymes and cultures which effectively remove algae, and the results last for months! The spray-on-and-leave formula means there's no need to scrub. Simply mix the desired amount into a sprayer or watering can, cover the area and leave! Let’s be honest, no one really enjoys scrubbing their patios in the cold weather

Citrox Garden and Greenhouse Cleaner is a powerful concentrated organic citrus extract disinfectant for cleaning greenhouses, pots, staging, tools and seed trays. It can safely be used to clean bird feeders and bird baths too. A diluted solution can be added to water butts to keep water clean and free from disease. 

 

Feed the Birds!

Food is scarce for birds this time of year so it’s important to leave high energy bird food out for them. However, as we all know birds can be a big pest problem too, especially pigeons this time of year so any potential crops that can be damaged need protecting.

Brassicas Cabbages, Cauliflower and Kale plants will make a suitably tasty winter meal for local pigeons! Grazers is an effective and easy solution to prevent damage caused by grazing rabbits, pigeons and deer. It is nutrient based, so it can be sprayed safely on Ornamentals, Shrubs, Bedding, Fruit or Vegetables and Lawns and acts by making the plant unpalatable to most grazing animals. It is odourless to the human nose, and safe for pets.

 

Protect Young Trees from Rabbits!

Aside from pigeons, rabbits can wreak havoc at this time of year especially tender bark of Apple, Pear and other Fruit Trees so make sure tree guards are intact around the base of young trees. Whilst your checking the guards remove any old fruit, from Fruit Bushes and Fruit Trees and check storedTop Fruitregularly, removing any that are beginning to go rotten. Add them to your bird table to help the birds in winter!

 

 

 

 

Get the earliest potatoes

If you love the fresh taste of the very earliest crop of delicious New Potatoesand you have a greenhouse our Potato Grow Kit with the earliest maturing potato, Swift, will give you just that. Plant it up in a greenhouse in January and you’ll get a tasty crop of First Earlies almost before you’ve planted any outdoors! And don’t forget if you’ve already got your Gro-Sacks you can buy 15 tuber refill packs of Charlotte or Hunter Seed Potatoes.Don’t forget to get your order in so you can plant early.

 

 

 

Have a tidy up

It’s a good time to do a bit of general maintenance of crops and keep the hygiene up. The leaves of overwintering brassicas can get yellow leaves which, if left on, can cause a spread of diseases. Pests can also hide in this foliage and overwinter so it’s best to remove any of these yellow leaves as they appear. Any other old crops that are past their best should be cleaned up too. This basic hygiene might sound obvious but it’s really important to remove any risk because this year has been so mild the chance of over overwintering pests and diseases is so much higher.  

 

 

Rhubarb

To keep Rhubarb plants healthy and vigorous, it’s advised that you lift and divide congested clumps. Lift the established plant and with a sharp shade split it into three or four pieces. As long as each piece has at one or more good eyes the plants will thieve. The outer sections of the main crown will perform much butter than the inner sections so if they look a bit old or decayed then they should be discarded; all the other sections should be replanted immediately. Plant with the crown just below or level with the soil surface, 3 ft apart. If you don’t have Rhubarb but fancy growing it now is the perfect time to plant it

 

 

 

Protect Tender Plants for use Next Year

If you’ve grown tender plants such as Geraniums or Fuchsias and want to keep them for next year you’ll have to offer them some protection. You can either put them in a greenhouse or bring them into a conservatory. Strip all remaining leaves and reduce the stems by two thirds. Remove all debris to reduce risk of fungal diseases and ensure there is plenty of air flow around the plant. Wrap the pots with bubble wrap to help protect the roots and cover with fleece but lift it off regularly to allow ventilation. If you live in a particularly cold area which is prone to extreme weather, it would be worth investing in a greenhouse heater just to take the bitter edge off.